The troops of Operation Delta Safe have rescued many kidnapped victims, uncovered illegal refineries and recovered arms and stolen crude oil in the Niger Delta region, the Defence Headquarters said on Tuesday.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
Enenche said the troops of Sector 2 while on routine patrol at Nembe Owelesu, Bayelsa encountered sea robbers at Abuja Open Water-Nembe who escaped into the creeks.
He added that the troops rescued 15 persons held hostage in five speed boats by the hoodlums.
Enenche also disclosed that the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder patrol team intercepted and arrested 3 Barges (MV Rock 1, Julianah and an unnamed barge) laden with illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) at AGIP waterfront for suspected involvement in illegal bunkering activities on April 23.
He added that the team also arrested another barge laden with suspected stolen crude oil around Okochiri River entrance.
According to him, troops of Sector 3 also conducted raid on four Illegal refining sites along Dema Abby-Oputumbi – Nanabie – Promise Land – Otobie and Ogono general area.
“Items discovered and appropriately handled, include seven boilers, nine storage tanks, eight metal tanks and one dugout reservoir all filled with stolen crude oil.
“Others are eight metal tanks, 18 metal drums, 11 reservoir tanks filled with illegally refined AGO and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK).
“Also, two empty Cotonou boats, one generator set, one pumping machine, two welding machines, one filing machine, rolls of hose, and one speedboat mounted with 75 HP engine – use for illegal bunkering activities – were also discovered within the sites,” he said.
The Coordinator further disclosed that troops of Sector 3 on patrol intercepted a barge laden with suspected illegally refined AGO around Orutoru general area of Rivers State.
He added that troops of Headquarters Operation Delta Safe discovered and appropriately handled an Illegal refining site at Uzere community at Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State on April 25.
“Troops of Sector 2 deployed along KCTL pipeline at Odau Community in Abua/Odual LGA of Rivers State arrested 3 suspected pipeline vandals around Shell Petroleum Development Company pipeline on April 23.
“Overall, a total of three weapons were recovered, 48 illegal refineries, 28 surface metal storage tanks, 60 cooking ovens and 18 Cotonou boats amongst others were discovered.
“About 58,500 liters of DPK, 11, 750 liters of PMS, 855,900 liters of AGO and an estimated 1,507,000 liters of crude oil were seized by troops.
“All rescued victims, recovered items and arrested suspects are to be handed over to the appropriate authorities at the end of preliminary investigation.
“The general public is hereby requested to continue to give credible information which will assist the military to rid the country of economic saboteurs,” he said.